jaquay butlerThe 26 student leaders representing the Faces of SSU campaign at Sonoma State University want you to know something: "We are more than what you see."

The goal of Faces of SSU is to raise diversity awareness on campus. That includes diversity of ethnicity, gender and experiences. "Not everyone's experience at SSU is the same," says Mo Phillips, director of Campus Life at SSU. "Faces of SSU is an opportunity for us to look a little deeper into a student's experience. It's an opportunity to see past who you think I am, and see who I really am."

matt james at the california academy of sciencesSonoma State University geology professor Matt James is passionate about the Galapagos Islands' importance to the scientific community. But he's not just telling his students about it--James organized an international symposium to ensure the birthplace of the theory of evolution continues to yield important discoveries for future generations.

The three-day symposium brought researchers and conservationists from around the globe to San Francisco State University and the California Academy of Sciences at the 100th meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Pacific Division last week.

ajay gehlawatSure, you know Bollywood films are from India, and you probably know they involve a lot of singing and dancing. But here are some things you might not know, courtesy of Sonoma State University theater and film professor Ajay Gehlawat, whose new book, 21st Century Bollywood, correlates with his recent Bollywood and Globalization class.

1. All Bollywood films are from India, but not all Indian films are Bollywood films. There are other regional film industries, in Madras, Calcutta and other regions, and many eschew the songs and big-budget production that are staples of Bollywood films.

Carlos Ayala and Jessica ParkerSonoma State University's School of Education was invited to the White House Friday morning to discuss the Obama administration's Maker Schools Alliance. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and Maker movement founder Dale Doughtery were among the those speaking at the conference, which included representatives from a wide variety of groups like the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the World Bank and many others.

"It was an honor to be one of the 100 invitees to this conference," said Carlos Ayala, Dean of the School of Education at Sonoma State. "Everyone needs equal access to the economic engine of the United States. This conference demonstrated that Making is a path that is clearly focused on that goal."

nathan rankSonoma State biology professor Nathan Rank visits Bishop so often, "it's almost like a second home," he says, speaking on a spotty cell phone connection from the eastern California mountain town of Bishop. He's been spending summers surrounded by breathtaking scenery of the Sierra Nevada since 1984 studying the montane leaf beetle, and will continue to do so for the next three years thanks to a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"We are looking at how genetic differentiations within populations might help survive a really wet or dry year." He adds, "Since this year is extremely dry year, we are making sure to document the populations very carefully."

young Hispanic boy with tutorFor students across the nation, graduating from high school is a celebratory achievement. This task is made much more difficult for children of migrant farm workers and low-income families with no knowledge in guiding their kids to obtain higher education. To counteract the disadvantages facing migrant students, Sonoma State University has created a program modeled after the California Mini-Corps program called the Migrant Education Advisor Program (MEAP).

kelsey hullSonoma State University volleyball senior Kelsey Hull has been named the 2014-15 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Female Athlete of the Year.

A three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American and the 2014 CCAA Volleyball Most Valuable Player, Hull led the Seawolves to their first-ever CCAA and NCAA West Region titles last fall.

Aurora by Catherine DaleyThree sculptures have been installed in Sonoma State University's Student Center to inspire students and create a sense of space in the university's newest building.

Aurora II: Redux, a three-part sculpture by Sonoma State alum Catherine Daley, hangs at eye-level to the second floor. Its clear tubes wafting in the circulated air of the Student Center evoke the dance of the northern lights.

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